AKWESASNE, ON – The Elora Mohawks captured the 2018 Founders’ Cup, Canada’s Junior B box lacrosse national championship, with a 9-5 win over the Seneca WarChiefs at the A’nowara’ko:wa Arena in Akwesasne, Ontario this past weekend.
It marked the franchise’s sixth Founders’ Cup title, having also been crowned national champions in 1964, 1967, 1968, 1976 and 2005. It was also the ninth consecutive tournament win for an Ontario Lacrosse Association representative, which have won the event 49 times since its inception in 1964.
The Mohawks finished pool play with a perfect 3-0 record thanks to victories over the host Mohawk Medicine Men, Manitoba Blizzard and Saskatchewan SWAT. They defeated the Coquitlam Adanacs 15-5 in the semi-finals to advance to the championship game.
Meanwhile the WarChiefs, who were originally slated to host the tournament before cross-border issues forced its relocation to Akwesasne, scored preliminary round wins over Coquitlam and Quebec’s North Shore Kodiaks, along with an overtime loss to the Calgary Shamrocks. They defeated the Manitoba Blizzard 9-8 in overtime to advance to the gold medal game.
Seneca championship game short-handed, but successfully held their opponents scoreless in eight power play opportunities. While they were unable to score with the man-advantage, the Mohawks’ even strength offense had no trouble at all, scoring four goals in both the first and third periods to help build a healthy lead, one they were able to maintain until the final buzzer.
The Mohawk’s offense scored in bunches during the championship game, with four goals in both the first and third periods to help build and maintain a lead that they were able to hold onto until the final buzzer. Seneca showed signs of life in the middle frame, cutting the lead to 5-3, but couldn’t muster enough offense to break through.
Kurtis Woodland (3g, 2a) led all scorers with five points, Zack Cameron and Klayton Hoelscher added two goals and two assists apiece. Clay Scanlan (3g, 0a) scored a hat-trick for Seneca, while teammate Sherman Williams (1g, 1a) contributed with two points of his own.
Coquitlam scored a narrow 9-8 victory over Manitoba to capture the bronze medal.
It was a back-and-forth game until the final frame, where the Adanacs potted four unanswered goals to rally back from a 7-5 deficit to take a 9-7 lead. The Blizzard’s Andy Szun scored with 0:31 seconds left in the game to make things interesting, but the B.C. representatives were able to hang on for the win.
Brian Smith (2g, 3a) and Erik Forsselius (2g, 2a) were the top scorers for Coquitlam, while Andy Szun (3g, 3a) Kelson Borisenko led the way for Manitoba.
The Calgary Shamrocks defeated the North Shore Kodiaks 11-7 to capture the Tier 2 championship.
The teams exchanged goals throughout the first two and a half periods, before the Shamrocks netted four straight markers, stretching their 7-6 lead to an 11-6 advantage and putting the game out of reach for the Kodiaks.
John Geib (0g, 5a) and Colby Fraser (2g, 2a) paced the Calgary offence, while Mathis Couillard (0g, 3a) and Davin Miller (0g, 3a) found the score sheet the most often for North Shore.
Elora’s Kurtis Woodland scored an incredible 40 points (16g, 24a) in five games, which was 13 points clear of the next closest competitor, Manitoba’s Kelson Borisenko who finished with 27 points (11g, 16a). Calgary’s Colby Fraser scored 14 goals, good for the second highest mark of the tournament.
Landon Kells of the Mohawks went 3-0 with a 5.00 goals against average, while silver medalist Troi Benedict was equally as impressive for the WarChiefs, finishing with a 2-1-1 record and 6.13 GAA mark.
MVP: Clay Scanlan, Seneca WarChiefs
Offensive Player of the Tournament: Kelson Borisenko, Manitoba Blizzard
Defensive Player of the Tournament: Matthew Froese, Coquitlam Adanacs
Transition Player of the Tournament: Ron John, Seneca WarChiefs
Goaltender of the Tournament: Landon Kells, Elora Mohawks
All-Star Team (Group A)
Kelson Borisenko, Manitoba Blizzard; Bryce Dueck, Saskatchewan SWAT; Landon Kells, Elora Mohawks; Dalton McGinnis, Mohawk Medicine Men; Cole Spear, Elora Mohawks; Kurtis Woodland, Elora Mohawks
All-Start Team (Group B)
Troi Benedict, Seneca WarChiefs; Beau Chetner, Coquitlam Adanacs; Anthony Desmarais, North Shore Kodiaks; Ron John, Seneca WarChiefs; Kale Lundell, Calgary Shamrocks; Clay Scanlan, Seneca WarChiefs